MEP Alfred Sant has said that the EU needs new structures that are more favourable for communities like those living in Gozo, thus allowing for their survival and to flourish.
He added that through the case of the island of Gozo, EU entities are too often conveniently forgetting about such rights.
Dr Sant made the remarks as he was voting in favour of a resolution to accelerate political steps to improve the situation in rural, mountainous and remote areas.
“Examples can be given through new funding structures and policy frameworks – rather than assisting these communities, new proposals are eating in what had been granted,” said Sant.
“I have defended the right of citizens living in these areas for years,” he said, “to have equal conditions as those in other parts of Europe.”
Alfred Sant pointed out that “they also have the right to benefit from smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the same food quality, the same levels of social inclusion, gender equality, job creation, digitalisation and an efficient internal market.”
“The rights of these citizens, are on paper defended by the Treaties: specifically Article 174 states that the Union shall aim at reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and the backwardness of the least favoured regions,” concluded the MEP.